The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting July 8th on Proverbs 8:17-21

Got 31 days in the month?  
God's got 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs! 
What a coincidence!

For each date then, again this month, you will find commentary on a few verses from the corresponding chapter. There are 7 months in the year with 31 days, so I divided each chapter into 7 parts and spread them out so that each verse will be reviewed on the date related to its chapter by the same number name.  No, I am not deliberately trying to make this explanation complicated! (But, if you can explain my system any better than I have tried to do in the past three 31-day months, there is probably a proverb proclaiming your wisdom, and you will be recognized here for your high achievement!).

Below this introduction you will find the whole chapter representing today's date, with this month's verses highlighted in red, and my amateur comments for today low lighted in blue. Enjoy!


Wisdom’s Call

1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.

17) Standing alone, this verse might give the wrong impression.  If I were to say "I love those who love me" I think I would come across as very self-centered.  Jesus tells us to love our enemies, after all, and, that He died for us while "we were yet sinners"! (Romans 5:8)  But remember who is speaking in Proverbs 8:17.  It is wisdom herself, declaring that the power of her love can only be truly received by those who pursue, engage and devote themselves to, Wisdom.  Those who do not seek Wisdom will never know her love.

18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.

18) Then she lists her promises.  The fruits of her love that might be included in her dowry, as it were, to the one who seeks her out.  Nothing too special though: just riches, honor, (enduring) wealth and prosperity and stuff.

19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.

19) And then for emphasis, she claims that her "fruit" is better than the standard, sought after riches of this world.  And she is right.  Would you not agree?

20 I walk in the way of righteousness,

along the paths of justice,

20) If we would all walk with Wisdom on these paths.  What commonly endured ditches we would all avoid!

21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me

and making their treasuries full.

21) Let us together seek Wisdom.  Not just smarts, or knowledge, or stats, or facts, or trivia.  All of that, combined with God's revealed Truth in scripture, and applied to good effect and with love, is the work of Wisdom.

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly[e] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.

32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”

[Anyone willing to author an explanation of my system, let me know, and if it makes more sense than my attempts (how could it not?) I will use it in October.]

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

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